Members of the Deaf community had the chance to view North East Derbyshire’s accessible-friendly leisure facilities first-hand, during an engagement event in Dronfield.
The event provided an opportunity for Deaf residents to come together at Dronfield Sports Centre to engage with staff, ask questions, view the North East Derbyshire District Council leisure facility and meet fellow residents.
In 2019, NEDDC became the first district council in the country to sign the British Sign Language Charter, and since that time has been working hard to improve access and rights for Deaf BSL users.
Cllr Martin Thacker MBE, Vice Chairman of North East Derbyshire District Council, Vice President of North East Derbyshire Deaf Society and Committee Member of North Derbyshire Deaf Forum, said: “Since signing the BSL Charter in 2019, it’s really pleasing to see how the council has implemented a number of actions that make a difference to the Deaf community.
“Being here at this event allows people to witness first-hand how the authority is seeking to support Deaf people in North East Derbyshire to access leisure facilities.”
The Council has taken a number of positive steps since signing the charter to assist Deaf residents, including: training for staff, BSL interpreters at our Meet the Council community events, adding subtitles to screens and access to BSL interpreters via video link on our website, in our leisure centres and council offices in Wingerworth.
Paul Barker, Chairman of North Derbyshire Deaf Forum, said: “Congratulations to North East Derbyshire District Council for improvements and signing up to the BSL Charter for Deaf awareness.
“Maybe other councils can learn from what you’ve done here and it can spread across the UK.”
Cllr Alan Powell, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Councillor for Dronfield South, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to showcase the range of accessible-friendly services we have in our leisure centres and the council as a whole.
“Hopefully events like these will give people the confidence to come and use our facilities, knowing support is there for them if they need it.”